I wasn't always this bitter. In fact, when I first saw My Bloody Valentine as a fresh-faced 11 year old I fell in love with the iconic look of the pickaxe wielding killer rather than the movie's sour view of Valentine's Day. My appreciation of that aspect came with adulthood, and it grew with each passing year like the clog that undoubtedly festers in my aortic artery.
|Completely badass, right?|
In my youth, though, I always wondered why My Bloody Valentine didn't spawn a franchise like so many of its calendar based brethren. I now know it was the victim of unfortunate timing, a topic that director George Mihalka elaborates upon nicely in the extra features on the Special Edition disc. All of the goriest footage was left on the cutting room floor to ensure the movie made its release date without becoming mired in a ratings battle with the MPAA. Then, of course, the footage was lost - for twenty-eight years.
|The version to have - beware the still circulating Paramount release!|
Lionsgate reinstated most of that newly rediscovered gore footage when they released the Special Edition to capitalize on the release of director Patrick Lussier's 2009 3D remake. The elements for the footage is understandably rougher looking than the rest of the movie, and yet the degradation serves to enhance the authenticity of the gore effects in a pleasingly grindhouse fashion. Though not all of the lost footage was recovered, director Mihalka says the new cut represents about 85% of what was intended. I can honestly say I had never been more excited to see the extended cut of a movie, and the footage truly delivers.
|A little taste of the gorey goodness reinstated for the My Bloody Valentine Special Edition.|
The theatrical cut that I saw as a child was already a favorite, and the reinstated effects serve to push the movie into the realm of greatness. I contend that if this version had made it into theaters in 1981 that My Bloody Valentine would have spawned a franchise to rival the long running dominance of the Friday The 13th series. Slasher movies just don't get any better.
I was open to Lussier's remake because I saw it primarily as an opportunity for My Bloody Valentine to get a do-over and at last become the success it should have been the first time. Though successful at the box office, the 2009 remake has yet to produce a sequel. I'm brokenhearted once again. At least the remake itself turned out to be a rousingly good time in 3D. The only major misstep was letting the miner spend too much time out of the mine.
|A custom cover for Lussier's remake. Break out your anaglyph 3D glasses - it's totally worth it!|
The original made the mine itself a major character, and the dark and claustrophobic mine shafts add immeasurably to the effectiveness of My Bloody Valentine. All of the underground footage was shot at Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia, often as much as 900 feet underground. The movie benefits greatly from the verisimilitude.
Often overlooked in discussion of My Bloody Valentine is the well delineated love triangle at the heart of the movie. The star crossed lovers are more identifiably human than usual for horror movies of this era, and that aspect lends the final reveal of the killer's identity a level of pathos absent from most other slashers. *Spoiler* That triangle is still intact at the end of the movie, which makes it even more heartbreaking that there was never a sequel.
|For the key to my heart? You can actually order this here.|
Posted by Brandon Early